Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum: Freshly made Cantonese-style dimsum hidden in an industrial building

·6-min read

How far would you travel for good food? I decided to put this to the test when visiting Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum, a hidden dimsum place that has recently gone viral on TikTok.

And when I mean that this place is hidden, I really mean it. Let me explain.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - building
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - building

While Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum has a handful of outlets in Singapore, it’s the one located in an industrial building at Aljunied that’s won the hearts and bellies of netizens for its old-school charm and freshly made dimsum.

This industrial building is Shun Li Industrial Complex, and it’s a 15-minute walk away from Aljunied MRT. There aren’t many bus stops around, so if you’re not driving, be prepared to walk a little.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - storefront
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - storefront

Getting to the building was just the first step of my journey, because finding the restaurant itself was on a whole other level (literally). 

Though there were plenty of signboards strewn across the industrial complex that told me I was at the right place, there were only two firemen lifts that went up to the seventh floor, which was where the restaurant was located.

Thankfully, I asked for directions from a nearby security guard, who pointed me in the right direction. My colleague, on the other hand, had gotten lost trying to find the right lifts.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - storefront
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - storefront

Finally, after a couple of twists and turns, I stumbled upon Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum’s signboard hidden away in a lone corridor.

What I tried at Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - chee cheong fun
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - chee cheong fun

I was pretty excited to start on my first dimsum dish of the day— HK Crispy Shrimp Cheong Fun (S$5.50).

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - chee cheong fun
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - chee cheong fun

Upon biting into the cheong fun, I realised that there was a layer of crispy, deep-fried noodle-like batter folded within the steamed rice sheets. It reminded me of deep-fried bee hoon that’d normally accompany yam rings in zi char places, just that the ones in Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum’s cheong fun were a lot thinner.

While the cheong fun skin wasn’t as thin as I had hoped for, the crispy noodle-like element added a delightful crunch, and paired well with the saltiness of the soy-based sauce.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - liu sha bao
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - liu sha bao

I moved onto one of my favourite buns, the HK Salted Egg Custard Buns (S$3.50 for three pieces), which is also known as liu sha bao.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - liu sha bao
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - liu sha bao

If you’re intending to take a video for the ‘gram, be sure to whip your phone out for this glorious shot! The minute we pried open the fluffy bun, golden, lava-like salted egg custard flowed out.

The custard was spot-on. It had a slightly gritty texture and its salted egg taste was intensely rich and buttery. However, my dining companion commented that it was a tad too salty for her, so this might be more suited towards those who prefer stronger flavours.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - big bao
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - big bao

Out of curiosity, we decided to order the Dry Pot Spicy Big Bun (S$2.50). Was it as “big” as we had hoped for? Probably not, as it only took up the size of our palm. 

The “spicy” in the dish’s name refers to mala, and indeed, the numbing and mildly spicy mala flavour came across immediately in a bright and tasty manner. Though the bun was filled with a variety of ingredients, such as chicken, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms, I felt that the bun-to-filling ratio could’ve been better improved.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - xiao long bao
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - xiao long bao

I also ordered a basket of Xiao Long Bao (S$4 for four pieces), and was pleasantly surprised to smell strong hints of hua diao jiu the minute it was served.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - xiao long bao
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - xiao long bao

My biggest tip would be to have this while it’s piping hot, as the xiao long bao skins were pretty thick (especially at the top) and weren’t very enjoyable when bitten into. However, the fillings were delicious, and had an aromatic sweetness from the hua diao jiu

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - mushroom bun
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - mushroom bun

I moved on to Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum’s Hong Kong Style Steamed Mushroom Buns (S$4)

These had attracted my attention because of its mushroom-like exterior, but I was incredibly impressed with its filling, which reminded me instantly of mushroom soup. Filled with earthy, umami goodness with plenty of texture, each bite was packed with rich flavours thanks to the mushrooms and preserved vegetables.

This was something that definitely took me by surprise. You can bet I’ll be back for more!

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - yam fritter
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - yam fritter

As a huge yam fan, one dish that I was looking forward to was Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum’s HK Fried Taro Dumplings (S$4.50 for three pieces), also known as wu gok.

Crispy and flaky on the inside while still being piping hot on the inside, each piece of wu gok was such a delight to devour. We were surprised to find curry within the wu gok, which added a fragrant savouriness to the soft yam.

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - porridge
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dim Sum - porridge

To round off our meal, we ordered the Ting Zai Congee (艇仔粥) (S$4.50). It’s also known as sampan boat congee and originated from Guangzhou, though it also quickly became an iconic Hong Kong dish as well, as it was peddled by sampans cruising along the river. It’s meant to be a simple and humble congee dish comprising seafood and whatever ingredients were available at that time. 

For S$4.50, I must say that I was really impressed by the serving size and the amount of ingredients given. This bowl of porridge could’ve easily served three to four people, and included thick, triangular chunks of century egg, sliced fish, medium-sized prawns, pork meat and cuttlefish.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Ting Zai Congee for its comforting element. The congee itself had just the right consistency— smooth and thick, without being too watery, and was seasoned lightly with white pepper and sesame oil.

Final thoughts

Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - dimsum
Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum - dimsum

After a hearty meal, I found myself deeply impressed by Five Star Hong Kong Style Handmade Dimsum’s offerings, which were delicious and filling. Not to mention, the items were pretty affordable too, averaging out at around S$3 to S$4 per item, and were made fresh on the spot. 

My only gripe would be the ambience and overall dining experience, as everything was self-service. You have to head to the main counter to order all your food, and you’re given a buzzer that will ring once your food is ready, which you’ll have to collect by yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong— I’m all for laidback dining. Yet, I felt that it didn’t gel well with the restaurant-like nostalgic vibes of the place, and might consider paying extra to head elsewhere a little more convenient for that extra service factor.

Expected damage: S$10 – S$25 per pax

Other articles you might like:

Sing Lung HK Cheong Fun: Veteran HK dim sum chef whips up freshly made chee cheong fun from $2.80

31 best dim sums in Singapore

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